The Guest Blog

As a passionate, curious young person coming from Rétság, a small town in Nógrád country in northern Hungary, I studied European affairs and international relations. I have to admit, a special feeling embraced my soul when I heard my professor talking about the European ideas of Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman. I fell in love with this “project”: a common Europe for the benefit of all citizens, to make peace and to bring freedom and stability to the continent, paving the way for socio-economic development.

Today, after many exams and hard work, I work in Brussels in one of the European Union’s advisory and political bodies, the Committee of the Regions. This political assembly, representing all local and regional authorities in Europe, wants to make Europe concrete and bring it closer to its citizens. Its 344 members, the mayors and regional elected politicians, bring the worries and wishes of their co-citizens to Brussels, participate in the EU’s decision making process and provide information to their citizens at home.

I have chosen to work in the Committee of the Regions because I want Europe to be more democratic and more responsive to the needs and worries of its citizens. The Committee of the Regions is a meeting place with doors open to ALL European regions and cities. We work here to ensure the proper representation of the regions and cities in the EU decision-making process.

People often complain about the lack of transparency of EU decisions and the complicated decision making processes of the European Union. We can do a lot to improve the “EU project’ but we have to strive for a common understanding in Europe if we want to develop for the better. That is why I try to do my best every day to support the members of the Committee of the Regions from all 27 member states to better understand each other and to table proposals that can affect our daily life in a positive way.

You also can shape Europe! The European elections are your opportunity to choose the direction Europe should take over the next five years! Have your say! The EU is a never-ending project and it is built on people, you and me, you and us. WE need to choose who could best represent us and our ideas in Brussels, which is why I invite you to cast your vote on 7th June.

If you do not vote you have no say in deciding your future in Europe. If you vote, you act as a real European: taking responsibility for your future. Your dreams can come true, like mine did! You have to believe in what you do and you have to join forces with all those people who want to construct something positive and stable in your town, region, country and Europe.

Have your say, have your choice on 7th June 2009 in the European elections in Hungary! What are you waiting for?!

Orsolya Zsemba, Administrator, Committee of the Regions

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